The California Questionnaire: Brian Huskey VC_Questionnaire_BrianHuskey_Supplied1_1280x640
Courtesy of Brian Huskey

The California Questionnaire: Brian Huskey

The California Questionnaire: Brian Huskey
The Top Chef alum loves riding his bike to work, road trips, and holidays at Lake Tahoe.

Brian Huskey first came to national attention in 2013 when he competed on season 11 of Bravo TV’s Top Chef, set in New Orleans. The Pasadena native showcased his signature fusion cuisine, impressed the judges on multiple occasions, and advanced all the way to the final five.

These days Huskey is serving up “quick, simple, and unique flavours that appeal to the masses” at Tackle Box, a local grub shack located on the beach in Corona del Mar. It’s the kind of place where you can order the Avocado Tartine for breakfast, shift over to the Salmon Poke for lunch, and then try out the Falafel Roll for dinner. Orange Coast magazine called it one of the Best New Restaurants of 2016, noting that “noshing with bare, sandy feet never tasted so good.”

1. Where do you live? I currently live in Corona del Mar. I grew up in Pasadena and my parents still have a house there. Also, I went to UCLA and then culinary school in San Francisco—a lot of my fond childhood and adult memories are here in California.   

2. Why there? It is a blessing to live a five-minute scooter ride from my restaurant, Tackle Box. Have you ever been to CDM? You’d want to live here too!

3. Who or what is your greatest California love? California coastline paired with our SoCal weather. Negative ions and vitamin D—best combo, ever.

4. What is the biggest misperception about Californians? The notion that everyone is “Hollywood.”

5. What is the stereotype that most holds true? SoCal drivers drive horribly in the rain. Southern Californians and rain are like cats and rain; they don't mix well. As soon as it starts to sprinkle, the whole city shuts down.

6. What is your favorite Golden State splurge? My favourite Golden State splurge is a weekend eating, wine tasting, and hot air balloon riding.

7. Time for a road trip—where are you going? When I was growing up, every year my parents would take my brothers and me to Lake Tahoe. Whether you are skiing in the winter, boating on the lake in the summer, or hiking the beautiful trails, Tahoe is always an epic rejuvenating experience. Haven’t been in a few years…time for a road trip to Tahoe.

8. If you could decree an official state culinary experience, what would it be? Taco Day. You can find so many different regional styles and flavours here. California has the best tacos outside of Mexico. I love tacos for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner.

9. Best California song? “California Love” by Tupac. This was my anthem in high school and college. And of course the Beach Boys’ “California Girls.” And [the Mamas and the Papas’] “California Dreamin’”—I remember my dad would play them while taking me to school.

10. How would your California dream day unfold? I’d wake up and take my daily sunrise walk around Corona del Mar by Big and Little Corona State Beach with my girlfriend. Then we’d head up to L.A. for some dim sum breakfast. After filling up on dim sum, I’d drive out to Santa Monica to take a chartered flight to Monterey, where we would enjoy a seafood lunch and take in the Central Coast. From there in our rented car we would continue up the Pacific Coast Highway, making necessary scenic stops until reaching our final destination, San Francisco. To complete the day, we would have dinner at Saison and crash at the St. Regis.  

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Huntington Beach by Scott Mansfield

Southern California

Discover Orange County

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23
June
Average (°C)
June - Aug
35°
High
11°
Low
Sept - Nov
31°
High
5°
Low
June - Aug
35°
High
11°
Low
Mar - May
26°
High
5°
Low

Whether it is manicured beach towns or celebrated theme parks, all framed by oceanfront towns and luxury yachts, 'The OC' stands out as one of the state’s most iconic destinations. The always amazing Disneyland Resort, about one hours’ drive south of Los Angeles and two hours’ north of San Diego, continues to be one of the best loved theme parks in the world, while Knott’s Berry Farms and other OC attractions amp up the fun metre. 

“Surfing is like golf. . . it keeps knocking you down. But when you stay with it and catch that wave. . . magic.”  --actor Dennis Quaid

Shop at spectacular South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, or get the surfer look in Huntington Beach, aka Surf City, USA. 

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Courtesy of Pelican Hill

The Resort at Pelican Hill

Indulge in Mediterranean elegance, world-class golf courses and five-star service at this Newport Beach resort

Tuscan elegance paired with panoramic ocean views is central to the eternal allure of...

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Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded in 1776, was the first winery in California.
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Carsten Erler/Getty Images

Spotlight: Anaheim

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Amazing attractions, shopping and dining in the one-of-a-kind Orange County town

With its laid-back atmosphere and unbeatable attractions, this vibrant city on the north-west side of Orange County has become a popular...

The magic of Disneyland, walking through the tunnel underneath the train station to Main Street, it just transports you to other places and other times.
John Lasseter
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Trip 4-5 days 10 stops

Pacific Coast Highway - South

Beach Towns, Iconic Theme Parks
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Start your coastal cruise in this elegant city hugging the coastal mountains, where classic Spanish architecture gives the region a sun washed European look straight out of the Riviera. Santa Barbara, nicknamed 'the American Riviera,' has a burnished antique look like much of the Mediterranean,...

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End your trip with at this sunny, waterfront city. Downtown, shop at Horton Plaza, or catch a baseball game at Petco Park. See the giant pandas at the San Diego Zoo. Next, explore one of the city’s diverse neighbourhoods, Little Italy, North Park, South Park, East Village, pedestrian friendly...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Unleash the kid within at California’s ultimate play lands

From Disneyland classics to beachfront carousels, the Golden State’s best-in-class theme parks deliver something for everyone, from tots and teens to film buffs and daredevils. Find out what is...

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Lucas Himovitz
Orange County is the cultural center of the surf world and Huntington Beach is like the heartbeat.
Corky Carroll (Orange County surf legend)
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Harriot Manley/Sunset Publishing

O.C. Shopping

Discover boutique brands and bargains

Shopping in The O.C. is almost as legendary as surfing. Start at expansive South Coast Plaza, California’s largest luxury shopping complex, with...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Where to release your inner fashionista

Shopping is an art form in California. Whether you are in search of the perfect cocktail dress or an authentic Mexican piñata, you will find it here. Want to sample fresh fruits and...

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Prayitno/Flickr
July/August

With a nickname like ‘Surf City, USA’, Huntington Beach is the obvious place for this 9-day, sun-and-wave extravaganza, the world’s largest surf event. Top pros including Kelly Slater and Rob...

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William Fovall/Flickr
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Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

Orange County's Luxury Resorts

Live like a star at posh getaways

The good life might have been invented in ‘The O.C.’—especially when it comes to resort destinations. With spas, elegant dining, five-star...

SPECIAL FEATURE
Get into the coastal vibe

Maybe it’s the sun-streaked hair, the frequent smiles, the eyes always gazing west, looking to the horizon to see when the next set might roll in. It’s the unmistakable look and vibe of a...

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Trip 5-7 days 10 stops

Highway One Classic

Take the trip that captures the heart and soul of the Golden State
SPECIAL FEATURE
Discover the awesome sports scene in the Golden State

With nearly twice as many professional teams as any other state, California is big league all the way. But the state’s sports scene goes far beyond football and baseball, with a diverse line-up of...

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Christina Lauren/Flickr
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Harriot Manley/Sunset Publishing

Crystal Cove State Park

Stroll a perfect beach with an intriguing past

In 1912, an early Laguna Beach artist described finding a rugged coastline “with cove after cove and headland after headland, golden cliffs and...

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From Gold Rush history to 8th wonders of the world, visit these favorites

If there was ever a box of chocolates—and all of them delicious—it’s the rich collection of natural treasures, fascinating...

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Amy Meredith/Flickr
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Golf in Orange County

Tee up at top courses, with some ocean views

With ideal Southern California weather and some of the country’s most celebrated courses, Orange County justly earns the nickname ‘California Golf...

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Check these amazing experiences off your bucket list

Kiss a beluga, see cool movie props, and learn about Walt’s secret hideaway on exclusive and behind the scenes tours at California’s theme parks and attractions. Here’s a roundup of actvities...

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Photo by Michael Saechang/Flickr
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Courtesy of Orange County Great Park

Orange County Great Park

Explore an impressive urban park

Turning former military land into a roughly 1,300-acre green space, this Irvine park is as ambitious as it is beautiful. Though it...

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Every year, the Orange County Great Park Balloon dons a smiling jack-o-lantern mask, marking the unofficial start of fall in Orange County.